According to LinkedIn, 80% of jobs today are found through networking alone. Knowing this, we have decided to create a PART 2 of a networking article we produced a few weeks ago on our blog (you can read that HERE).

We know that many of you are busy this summer in jobs, internships, and co-op experiences. Most, if not all, of these experiences will include the opportunity to attend networking events, cocktail hours, and other company get togethers. Hopefully the next time you are at one of these networking events, one of the tips below can help you.

Perfect your Elevator Pitch. Practice this pitch before the event. Write out what you do and who you are as a student, intern, etc. Trim this pitch down until it is under 30 seconds. This is what you will say when you meet someone new!

Make diverse connections. If you know who will be at the event beforehand, feel free to target professionals for interest for advice and connection. Outside of that- talk to anyone and everyone. Don’t feel awkward- everyone else is there to network too!

If you go with a friend or fellow intern, don’t stick together the whole time. It gets too easy to stick near the free punch and only talk to them. Before you attend the networking event, make it clear to your friend that you will be prioritizing making new connections while you are there.

Exchange business cards or names with whoever you connect with. This is super important! It’s important to have great conversations while you are at the event, but it is ESSENTIAL to keep the conversation going AFTER the event. One way you can do this is by exchanging business cards. Make sure to ask “Can we exchange cards?” rather than “Can I give you my card?” That way, you can do the next tip more easily…

Follow up on LinkedIn or via social media the day after. A connection is not truly made until it’s social media official! Make sure to maximize the big pile of business cards you will get after the event to connect with people online. This will lead to future opportunities and help you to stay in the know about what everyone else is doing. Who knows? Maybe these connections could lead to a future collaboration, friendship, job, or opportunity!

Networking is all about making positive connections with people, so get out there this summer and use these tips to meet potential colleagues and widen your network.

Need more tips on networking? Please visit our website at https://web.iit.edu/career-services or email us at careerservices@iit.edu to set up appointments about networking and more.

Navigating Networking Events 101